BoozyLife is going LIVESTREAM 

Things are happening on the BoozyLife front in California, and the shift has started!

I’m making the move from print blogging to live video streaming–you’ll be able to see FIRST HAND what I’m drinking, what tattoo convention we’re headed to next, our adventures on the road, and meet some VERY cool artists along the way!

So, now the important questions–what do YOU want to see? Wine, tattoo art, tiny houses? Otters? Well?

Comment here, on my FB, or any of the BoozyLife social media platforms…we’ll be getting a schedule plan worked out soon, and if you’d like to be featured? Drop me a line!

1st Annual Winnipeg Tattoo Convention 2017

Moving to California has definitely been fantastic, but we’ve had to make some tough travel decisions and sit out some great tattoo events in 2017. We’re adulting! We’re not homeless! All the good things….but we miss our friends. Friends we enjoy running into and working along side, all over the world.

International artists like Rich Handford, who we see in Montreal, in the States, in Paris at the Mondial du Tatouage Convention–who, this time, had his own show, loaded with a roster of international tattoo talent in Winnipeg!

Sadly, August 18-20th, tattooer husband Lefty and I had to miss the 1st Annual Winnipeg Tattoo Convention, sponsored by Kapala Tattoo and Good Guy Supply.

Organized and promoted in a CRAZY short span of time (about six months) by artist Rich Handford (Instagram @richhandford) and his incredible wife Sheri, they are also proud owners of Kapala Tattoo Winnipeg.

Two more friend and professional tattoo industry couples, Rob and Natalie Jobe (pictured with Rich) along with Lucas and Jaime Ford, are the force behind Good Guy Supply, the second show sponsor. Tattoo supplies for tattoo artists, by other accomplished tattoo artists, of the highest quality!

The dedication, hard work, and tireless effort that it takes a team to put on a convention is gnarly, but in a five month crunch, it would be hard to even imagine the logistics. These folks made it happen in a big way! According to tattoo wife extraordinaire and Winnipeg convention promoter Sheri Handford–

“We’re still married!! We planned an amazing show in 5 months–There was very little that went wrong, and we had an amazing team that helped make everything possible! We all worked tirelessly and it showed–We had plan A, B, C and maybe a D!! We can’t wait to do it again next year! Hopefully you and Eddie will make it, but also glad you’re not homeless!”

With a successful and well received first year behind them, we look forward to Winnipeg Tattoo Convention next year in 2018 for the Molina’s! Congrats to all of the Winnipeg Convention’s crew, team of volunteers, and sponsors for a hugely successful show– we can’t stop hearing glowing reviews from a weekend of tremendous talent–you guys killed it! See you out there!

*All photos taken by Dwayne Larson Photography

A BoozyLife Night in Paris at Chez Casimir *100th POST*

BoozyLife in action! Paris 2015

BoozyLife in action! Paris 2015

Big Paris Bus

Big Paris Bus

Side note–this is my 100th post on the BoozyLife! Thank you for reading and following the journey!

The first leg of our trip this month had us flying on a multiple city ticket–last minute flight purchases–and ended up with an overnight layover, to ourselves, in Paris. Terrible, right? What to do…we wanted to stay near the Gare du Nord train station in order to stay close to the morning train commute to the airport…cheap night in an Ibis hotel nearby…research! My husband found a spot called Chez Casimir about 100 meters from us–it’s the sister restaurant to the famous Chez Michel bistro, and actually SHARES A KITCHEN with them. DONE! We walked over and took an outdoor table overlooking the evening Paris streets. Google them if you want to see more articles, they’ve been written up in CNN travel amongst many others….

Paris streets

Paris streets

There is either an ala carte menu or the standard four course pairing (appetizer, entrée, world-famous cheese tray, desert), so we went traditional and ordered off the prix fix menu. At less than forty euros each, the price was more than a casual dinner, but presented to be a more upscale bistro fare. I chose a portion of beef with mushrooms and a pepper sauce as my entré…and then, I got to pick our wine! Best part!

French Beaujolais from Bordeaux Region Séléné

French Beaujolais from Bordeaux Region Séléné

I ordered a French Beaujolais wine (young and fruity red, easy drinking and good with a bistro meal like this) from the menu, and was invited to go grab MY bottle!! The wines were stored in the Cava de Vino (wine cave…in this case, a climate controlled side room/closet area) and you were asked to grab the bottle you want yourself, and a server will open your selection(s) and add them to the bill at the end of the meal. OK. YES. Several of the bottles were small batch, organic, or from harder to find producers! HOW TO CHOOSE? After a good amount of standing still with my mouth open in a happy place, I grabbed a bottle of GAEC de La Tallebarde – Séléné Beaujolais Gamay, a very young red wine, lightly aged and traditionally made in the Burgundy region of France. It also happily had an artsy label, plastered with a painting of Frida Kahlo-which was a nice marketing surprise for me and appropriate as well I suppose!

Lobster salad

Lobster salad

The young red wine -once popped -was fruity, funky, and complex, without being heavy–a fun pairing for casual outdoor dining. The acidity cut through all of the rich flavor of the meal, from my beef and mushrooms, all the way to the incredible treat of the Chez Michel style local cheese platter course.

FRENCH CHEESE TRAY!!

FRENCH CHEESE TRAY!!

Beef with mushrooms prepared perfectly

Beef with mushrooms prepared perfectly

Really, no words–the cheese tray comes after entirely too much food, so plan accordingly! Desert was an incredible raspberry chocolate concoction that melted in my mouth with silky perfection…lovely sweet ending to a delightful night in Paris. Check out Chez Casimir next time you are in town–BoozyLife approved and recommended! See you on the road….

Chocolate and raspberry goodness

Chocolate and raspberry goodness

Mondial du Tatouage 2015: Paris, Artistry, and Wooden Balls

Me and Lefty at the Eiffel

Me and Lefty at the Eiffel

My first journey overseas has been one hell of a trip! Some dream of seeing the Eiffel Tower and the city of lights, but I was more interested in attending the Mondial du Tatouage 2015, one of the greatest tattoo shows on earth.

Artist booths at Mondial

Artist booths at Mondial

Simone also created trophies for the tattoo contests-incredible artwork

Simone also created trophies for the tattoo contests-incredible artwork

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The start of the entrance line

 

Tin-Tin (of Tin-Tin Tatouages, Paris) and his incredible team of minions put on the show with the highest attendance record ever for a show in 2014, so I went in expecting this one would be another crazy weekend. I had no idea. This is a show like no other, anywhere. There is no way to cover everything in one post…but I’ll add the boozy stuff later on!

Mondial is heavily promoted and sponsored – MTV, Fender guitars, commercial promotions- and it shows. The que for the first day entrance was one of the longest lines I’ve ever seen, and I worked for Disney World…I know long ass lines. I actually got a little nervous waiting for the incoming herd of bodies to hit the open doors and flood the aisles. The line was that long every single morning of the three day show. Clients had come in from all over the European Union to get tattooed by world renowned artists.

Custom painted Fender guitars

Custom painted Fender guitars

Above the floor at Mondial-there were 2nd floor booths as well this year

Above the floor at Mondial-there were 2nd floor booths as well this year

This year, there were booths on the first floor as well as on the second floor balconies, which did help to split the crowd and make walking around a little more manageable. Last year I heard aboutforty five minute travel times from booth to stencil maker-this year it felt easier to navigate (I’m also short and a New Yorker, so I can usually slide through the gaps). It was a huge crowd, but very well managed.

That Hanford smile

That Hanford smile

The amount of talent at this show is staggering. Booth after booth, internationally known tattooers buzzed the weekend away.

The judges

The judges

Filip Leu, Luke Atkinson, and Bill Salmon were the tattoo contest judges the entire weekend (pimped out in fancy in suits, no less!) and the trophies were one of a kind creations by the incomparable Simone El Rana.

Shige at work, the artist that won Best Bodysuit for this year's contest

Shige at work, the artist that won Best Bodysuit for this year’s contest

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The Leu Family Iron booth

Jondix in the booth

Jondix in the booth

Selfie with artist Titine Leu (wife of Filip Leu) -Leu Family Iron Booth

Selfie with artist Titine Leu (wife of Filip Leu) -Leu Family Iron Booth

This show has no room for mediocrity, no scratchers, no one that can’t hang with the best of the best. Mentioning this now (but it will have its own separate blog post soon) — Henning Jorgensen released his book “The Royal Tribute” and had an exclusive signing during the last day of the show. Lefty escaped long enough to walk around and grab a copy to have signed. Always gracious, Henning’s book spans thirty years of his shop Royal Tattoo and is broken into two parts, including his flash and paintings. It is definitely worth looking into to grab a copy for yourself if you’re a collector, absolutely beautiful work.

Sleeps on fancy lettering

Sleeps on fancy lettering

We had a lot of friends visiting Paris, which speaks of Lefty’s level in the game, but also made for a few very entertaining evenings as well. This is a really fun show for the artists as well as fans, and in addition to all of the hype…the feeling is something special… I believe the French would say it’s own ‘je ne sais quoi.’

Norm rockin fancy letters

Norm rockin fancy letters

It’s an exclusive group I get to socialize with, but no snobbery is witnessed, no shade thrown. The VIP Sunday night after party was on a boat located on the River Seine. Music, booze, and a smoking deck we overran that faced the twinkling Eiffel Tower.

Bubbles and Paris at night

Bubbles and Paris at night

Everyone talking about ten or fifteen years ago, where they first met, at which show, and the changes in the business since then. Many of the artists brought spouses, or had family that they rarely get to see come through as well. The vibe was friendly and all around tired but jovial. image

On a total side note…Tin-Tin plays a mean game of Fooz Ball…the ball is made of wood instead of plastic here, so you can do some crazy serving shit with it! I was definitely watching a very intense match of incredibly talented individuals blowing off steam after a completely successful weekend. I can’t wait for next year! Thank you to everyone that put in so much work, so that we could enjoy Paris in such a remarkable way. I can’t wait to come back and do it all again next year!

Mondial du Tatouage 2015 in Photos

Norm rockin fancy letters

Norm rockin fancy letters

Selfie with artist Titine Leu (wife of Filip Leu) -Leu Family Iron Booth

Selfie with artist Titine Leu (wife of Filip Leu) -Leu Family Iron Booth

Shige at work, the artist that won Best Bodysuit for this year's contest

Shige at work, the artist that won Best Bodysuit for this year’s contest

Jondix in the booth

Jondix in the booth

Tahiti Tattoo

Tahiti Tattoo

This past weekend was one of the best tattoo shows on earth, Mondial du Tatouage 2015, and I was lucky enough to be a part of the excitement! Thank you to Tin-Tin and his incredible crew and production staff for putting on one of the busiest, craziest, and best shows I have ever witnessed. I’ll have a full wrap up soon, but there was so much to see and do, I’m still a bit overwhelmed (and I’m in Paris playing tourist, so blogging happens whenever the carnival stops for a minute)…much, much more coming up! Until then, here are a few shots from the show – as for the selfie with artist Titine Leu of the Leu Family Iron, that was her idea. I swear.  😉

Above the floor at Mondial-there were 2nd floor booths as well this year

Above the floor at Mondial-there were 2nd floor booths as well this year

Artist booths at Mondial

Artist booths at Mondial

Sabine's booth

Sabine’s booth

Mondial du Tatouage 2015 Teaser-ONE MONTH FROM TODAY!

Mondial du Tatouage 2015

Mondial du Tatouage 2015

Hey kids! Check out the new video promoting the Paris Tattoo Convention! It’s a short spot, highlighting what’s so great about this show–amazing artists, tattoos, music, culture, and a high-end, selective representation from the best in our current tattoo community. Have a look, BoozyLife will be there in exactly ONE MONTH from today!

 

Tattoo Conventions and (Boozy)Life on the Road

Paris Tattoo Convention

Paris Tattoo Convention

Tattoo Conventions are a huge business, and show numbers are growing exponentially worldwide. Promoters compete for the best weekends, and to host the biggest names in tattooing. Larger cities and markets often have the highest regarded shows- Paris and London are long running, premiere events that artists try to plan their schedules around. Serious tattoo collectors often follow favorite artists on social media, and travel hundreds of miles for a sitting with an artist they might not otherwise have access to. Sites like Facebook and Instagram help artists to gain exposure internationally, and connect first hand with potential clients. So, what happens at these things? Why would a tattoo artist go out of their comfort zone and hit the road?

NETWORKING- Conventions are a great place to expand your circle. The best of the best choose only particular shows- if you’re good enough to get in, you’re hanging with the top percentage of artists practicing the craft.

Tin Tin from Paris

Tin Tin from Paris

Meeting other artists and connecting on a personal level sets up future growth potential. ‘Guest spots’ are essentially invites to work at another shop for a small amount of time, which enable artists to learn from each other and work in a different space. Give and take to build and grow within the circle.

IMG_0804.JPGTATTOOING- YES, tattoo artists tattoo at tattoo conventions. Seems like common sense, right? Artists pay for a booth that has all of the necessities to work,- tables, chairs, electricity, and basic supplies are provided (paper towels, electricity, etc.). Artists vary in setup: some bring a banner and their equipment, others can enjoy more showmanship and decorate the booth with a bit more flare. Convention promoters for high end shows focus on safety, for clients as well as artists. If you want to get tattooed by a particular artist, it’s always a good idea to communicate with them first! Email usually works best,  and setting up an appoint will guarantee that you’re not left out of getting tattooed. Saturday is usually the busiest day of any show, so plan accordingly.

EXPOSURE- Getting out there builds a tattoo artist’s name as well as client base. The more people that see you on the road (artists and clients alike), the more familiar you become within the tattoo industry. Magazines and media cover larger shows, and now it’s pretty common to see TV cameras too. Nothing like a good freak show! 🙂

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Artists on the beach in Tofino, Vancouver Island

TRAVEL- If you had a job that allowed you to see the world, and it required your dedication and energy and study to continue to improve and grow? Would you? Tattoo artists take advantage of these opportunities, absorbing reference and details from touring like sponges. Artwork is a living process, and the work these artists produce is even more so. Seeing this great big world adds a level of a different consciousness, and a tie to the world history of tattooing.

20140314-162425.jpgLOCATIONS- So, where the hell are these tattoo conventions? Damn near everywhere!  If it’s a major city, there is at least one major show. If there are no shows near you, chances are you’re not living in a metropolitan area! Want to go to one? TRAVEL!! Drive, fly, however….don’t stagnate and wait for one of these shows to come to you in the stix. Make a weekend of it, spend a day at the show, and then enjoy the area you’re in! That’s where I came up with the BoozyLife–conventions are fun, but unless you’re getting tattooed CONVENTIONS ARE BORING AFTER A FEW HOURS. YOU CAN ONLY WALK SO MANY LAPS AROUND THE FLOOR BEFORE YOUR EYES GLAZE OVER. Head to a city, catch a convention, and see what that particular city has to offer! I focus on mostly wineries and booze, but tattoo artists LOVE to eat at the highest rated gourmet restaurants– also a tradition for Sunday night dinner at the wrap of the show. If you see a gang of heavily tattooed, usually slightly loud men and women headed into your restaurant after eight on a Sunday night? LET THEM IN. They will make it worth your while (servers LOVE these guys!)

In our booth

In our booth

Now that you have all that info, where is a show near you? Well, we landed in Ithaca because it’s rural, but about four hours central to several hubs we use a lot. (NYC, Toronto, Montreal). Rochester is now home to the Roc City Tattoo Expo, best upstate NY convention by far– this year May 1st-3rd! http://www.roccitytattooexpo.com

We also use the website http://www.worldtattooevents.com  This comprehensive calendar lists conventions in the US, Europe, Canada, and damn near everywhere else in the world. No matter where you are, Waldo….there’s a show (and probably a winery or two) worth checking out. Keep reading BOOZYLIFE to see where we end up next…catch you soon kids!Chardonnay vines in the snow